New Jersey Real-Time News




    Man stabbed in Jersey City park, cops say

    Man stabbed in Jersey City park, cops say


    He was then taken to Jersey City Medical Center to be treated for his wound, police said. A 28-year-old man was stabbed in the thigh in Jersey City's Audubon Park early Friday morning, police said. Officers were...

    He was then taken to Jersey City Medical Center to be treated for his wound, police said.

    A 28-year-old man was stabbed in the thigh in Jersey City's Audubon Park early Friday morning, police said.

    Officers were dispatched to a Bergen Avenue address at 2:30 a.m. on the call of a man being stabbed. There, they met the Jersey City resident, who said an "unknown" man had stabbed him in his right thigh inside the park, a police report states.

    The victim said he could not identify his attacker, did not want to speak to a detective and wanted no further police action. He only wanted medical attention, he said, according to the report.

    He was then taken to Jersey City Medical Center to be treated for his wound, police said.

    No arrests were immediately made.

    2 claiming they were from electric company flee from home

    2 claiming they were from electric company flee from home


    Two men, one who claimed he worked for the electric company, fled from outside an Allerton Road residence in Clinton Township when confronted by the homeowners, police said. CLINTON TWP. - Two men, one claiming he...

    Two men, one who claimed he worked for the electric company, fled from outside an Allerton Road residence in Clinton Township when confronted by the homeowners, police said.

    CLINTON TWP. - Two men, one claiming he worked for the electric company, fled from outside an Allerton Road residence when confronted by the homeowners, police said.

    Police responded to the residence at approximately 5 p.m. on Jan. 11.

    A 79-year-old resident said a man in a dark-colored Dodge Ram pickup truck approached, saying he worked for the electric company and that he needed the homeowner and the homeowner's wife to come outside to witness work, police said.

    According to police, as the homeowner walked to the garage to meet with the man, the homeowner's wife saw someone hiding in the front seat of the pickup truck. She yelled for her husband to get the man's identification, and the man replied that he left it in another work truck.

    When the homeowner told his wife to bring him the telephone, the man entered the truck and fled.

    Police said the man is described as either white or Latino, approximately 5-feet, 10-inches tall, approximately 190 pounds, wearing a work coat, hat with no visible logos, ripped blue jeans, and sneakers. He was also carrying a clipboard. The wife was unable to provide a description of the person hiding in the truck, police said.

     
    Trump inauguration's 'designated survivor' has N.J. ties

    Trump inauguration's 'designated survivor' has N.J. ties


    Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson missed the inaugural ceremonies. Watch video WASHINGTON -- Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson of Montclair was the Cabinet official...

    Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson missed the inaugural ceremonies. Watch video

    WASHINGTON -- Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson of Montclair was the Cabinet official assigned to skip Friday's presidential inauguration as the "designated survivor," according to White House pool reports.

    He was at an undisclosed location as was as Donald Trump was sworn into office as the 45th president.

    One member of the Cabinet, whose members are in the line of presidential succession, traditionally misses such major events in case of disaster. The term "designated survivor" gained attention with the ABC television show of that name, in which a cabinet officer played by Kiefer Sutherland becomes president after an attack on the U.S. Capitol.

    N.J.'s Johnson will miss State of the Union

    Johnson, who helped put in place the extensive security arrangements for the inauguration, also was the designated survivor for President Barack Obama's State of the Union address last year.

    Johnson and the rest of the Cabinet left office on Friday along with Obama. His picture and biography no longer appear on the Homeland Security website.

    Before becoming Homeland Security secretary in December 2013, Johnson was general counsel for the Defense Department. In that position, he was involved in developing counterterrorism policies. He previously was general counsel of the Air Force and a former assistant U.S. attorney.

    Johnson was the second person with New Jersey ties to run the Homeland Security Department, which was created after 9/11. The first was Michael Chertoff of Elizabeth.

    Jonathan D. Salant may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @JDSalant. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.

    N.J. congresswoman skips inauguration, hosts prayer service

    N.J. congresswoman skips inauguration, hosts prayer service


    Instead of watching the inauguration, more than 300 people gathered to pray at Shiloh Baptist Church Friday TRENTON -- As Donald Trump was being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday, more than...

    Instead of watching the inauguration, more than 300 people gathered to pray at Shiloh Baptist Church Friday

    TRENTON -- As Donald Trump was being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday, more than 300 people concerned over the country's future gathered in a Trenton church to pray.

    U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12th Dist.), who was among more than 60 Democratic lawmakers who skipped the inauguration in protest, hosted the interfaith service at her church, Shiloh Baptist Church.

    "We will pray and we will reflect and we will leave here uplifted, hopeful and assured that everything will be alright," Watson Coleman said. "But faith without works is dead, so in addition to believing and praying, we have work to do. So we shall stay awake, stay alert and be ready to mobilize."

    The two-hour service included more than a dozen religious leaders representing several faiths and denominations.

    Rev. Darrell Armstrong, pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church, welcomed the opportunity, saying places of worship and governments should be about building bridges, not walls.

    One by one, prayers were said for the nation and its leaders, peace, women, families, religious tolerance and freedom, immigration, education, justice, worker rights, health care, equality, the environment and strength.

    Rev. Simeon Spencer, pastor of Union Baptist Church, recited Scripture, saying, "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks."

    "And to be frank, so much of what we have heard come out of the mouth of the one who is being sworn in today leaves us unsettled," he continued. "So much of what we have seen of his appointments leaves us unsettled.

    "If we are honest with you ... since Nov. 8, a lot of us have felt as if something died and the funeral is today. ... Even now, we pray that you would protect them, cover them, grant them wisdom, knowledge and understanding and even if you have to, God, we ask you to control them."

    Rev. Maureen Gerald urged the group to stand together in solidarity to protect the rights of women and their families.

    "We say that our bodies and our babies and our country's borders will not be left to the heads, the hearts and hands of those who are uninformed and unfamiliar with our issues," she said. "And I am well aware that millions of women don't live in towers, but work to have a safe place for their family, safe and secure medical care and safe and secure opportunities for their careers so while others are celebrating, I stand here soberly."

    Most of the 300 attendees wore purple ribbons as a symbol of unity.

    Sally Maruca, a Lawrence resident who worries that the progress that has been made in women's and civil rights issues will be reversed by the Trump administration, said it was important for people to join together Friday.

    "I just fear that he's going to silence anything that he doesn't personally approve of," Maruca, 85, said. "I think it's important for us all to be together and work hard but politely on protecting our rights."

    On Saturday, Watson Coleman and hundreds of others will participate in the Women's March on New Jersey in Trenton, a sister march to the Women's March on Washington.

    "This government is for, of and by the people and it is the voice of the people that will have the last say here," the congresswoman said.

    Cristina Rojas may be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @CristinaRojasTT. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Jersey City's main library to close for 2 months, starting in February

    Jersey City's main library to close for 2 months, starting in February


    The Jersey City Free Public Library's main library will be closed for most of February and March as part of the historic restoration of the Jersey Avenue building, library officials announced. The Jersey City Free...

    The Jersey City Free Public Library's main library will be closed for most of February and March as part of the historic restoration of the Jersey Avenue building, library officials announced.

    The Jersey City Free Public Library's main library will be closed in February and March as part of the historic restoration of the Jersey Avenue building, library officials announced.

    The library will close on Feb. 6 and is expected to reopen in April, Library Director Priscilla Gardner said.

    The closure will allow for the replacement of its existing aluminum windows, which are historically inappropriate and cause high energy loss, Gardner said. The windows will be replaced by historically correct and energy efficient wooden windows that officials say will enhance the structure's beauty and energy efficiency.

    The building's original wooden windows were swapped out in the 1950s for their aluminum successors, which were popular at the time.

    "We are so happy to be moving forward with the window restoration, which will increase the value of this important community asset and increase the comfort of all those visiting and working at the main library," Gardner said in a statement.

    This first installment of the window replacements is funded by the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund, in the amount of $354,000, with matching funds provided by Jersey City, library officials have said.

    The main library opened to the public in 1901 and library officials have said the $15 million restoration is long overdue. The library was closed from late September 2015 to September 2016 as work continued. 

    Did a pesticide cause 200 birds to die in South Jersey?

    Did a pesticide cause 200 birds to die in South Jersey?


    Approximately 200 birds were found dead in November in Stow Creek Township. STOW CREEK TWP. -- Testing continues to find out what killed 200 birds in the township, according to the state Department of Environmental...

    Approximately 200 birds were found dead in November in Stow Creek Township.

    STOW CREEK TWP. -- Testing continues to find out what killed 200 birds in the township, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

    The dead birds were found in November around Frank Davis Road. Testing is continuing but one hypothesis is that the birds were poisoned by imidacloprid, an insecticide used by farmers when they plant their crops.

    "To actually confirm it scientifically, we sent specimens, additional specimens, to be evaluated for that pesticide," said Larry Hajna, spokesman for DEP.

    On Nov. 2, 12 to 18 dead birds -- mostly red-winged blackbirds were reported in a rural section of Cumberland County. Birds continued to be found dead in the area -- estimated around 200 -- into November.

    "A poisoning was suspected in the black birds due to the acute nature and highly localized area of the mortality pattern," states a New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife report dated Dec. 15.

    Salem County bank first to fail in 2017

    The birds were seen feeding in nearby farms and, once approached, were slow to take off. Once in the area, they were seen dropping out of the sky midflight. Officials performed necropsies -- animal autopsies -- on the dead birds and found internal bleeding and trauma caused by the birds hitting the ground.

    While there is no evidence of chemical poisoning at this time, a local farmer was using fungicides and pesticides, including imidacloprid.

    "Everyone should be concerned about the ramifications of hundreds of birds falling from the sky," said Jane Galetto of Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and its Tributaries.

    According to Galetto, imidacloprid and other insecticides in the neonicotinoids chemical class are harmful to the ecosystem.

    According to the DEP, imidacloprid can cause disorientation in birds and is considered toxic. Wheat seeds from the farmer's field were found to be ingested by the birds but have not shown to contain imidacloprid.

    Don E. Woods may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @donewoods1. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
    What to expect in N.J. from the weekend nor'easter

    What to expect in N.J. from the weekend nor'easter


    Forecasters say wind gusts could get as high as 45 mph along the Jersey Shore, and rain could change to freezing rain or a wintry mix in Sussex County. A strong coastal storm is expected to slide up the Atlantic...

    Forecasters say wind gusts could get as high as 45 mph along the Jersey Shore, and rain could change to freezing rain or a wintry mix in Sussex County.

    A strong coastal storm is expected to slide up the Atlantic seaboard later this weekend into early next week, packing heavy rain and strong winds and posing the risk of moderate coastal flooding in New Jersey.

    Forecasters say the storm will set up like a typical nor'easter, with powerful winds blowing in from the north and east, pushing ocean water onto parts of the Jersey Shore. Although it's late January, temperatures are expected to remain well above the freezing mark, so the storm will bring only rain to most of New Jersey.

    The one exception is Sussex County, where there's a possibility the temperatures could get cold enough for some freezing rain to occur Sunday night or for rain to mix with snow at the tail end of the storm Monday night, according to the National Weather Service. Even if that happens, there likely won't be much, if any, accumulation.

    Here's a look at what the National Weather Service is expecting in terms of the storm's timing, rainfall amounts, wind speeds and coastal threat:

    Storm timing 

    The storm will likely come in waves from Sunday afternoon through early Tuesday, with the heaviest batches of rain expected to fall Sunday night to Monday night. "We'll probably see several periods of rain during that timeframe. It'll probably rain for a while, stop for a while, then rain for a while," said Mitchell Gaines, a meteorologist at the weather service's regional forecast office in Mount Holly.

    How much rain

    At this time, the weather service is projecting the heaviest rain to fall in South Jersey. Areas like Atlantic City, Millville and Cape May could get drenched with as much as 2 to 3 inches of rain from Sunday through Tuesday, Gaines said. In the Trenton region and most of Central New Jersey, 1.5 to 2 inches of rain is anticipated. In the northern third of the state, about 1 inch or a bit more is expected.

    This map from the National Weather Service shows how much rain is expected to fall during the coastal storm from Sunday evening through Tuesday evening. (National Weather Service)  

    Wind speeds

    Steady northeast winds of 20 to 35 mph are forecast for Sunday evening through Monday night, with gusts as strong as 40 to 45 mph. Gaines said the strongest winds will occur near the coast, and winds will be lighter in areas that are farther inland.

    Coastal flooding risk

    "Minor flooding is probable, especially along the ocean," the weather service said in a storm briefing on Friday. "The extent of the coastal flooding will be dependent on the track and strength of the storm. If the storm is stronger and slower, then moderate tidal flooding would be possible, especially along the ocean and back bays."

    Storm formation

    The nor'easter is expected to start out as a low pressure system over the southeastern United States, Gaines said. As it tracks northeastward, it will move along the coastline near Virginia and North Carolina and remain offshore through the latter part of the weekend, before it moves up off the coast of New Jersey on Monday and up to New England on Tuesday. 

    Gaines said the storm's energy is coming from the low pressure system, which will be drawing a lot of warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. 

    As the storm moves up the coast, a high pressure system with colder air will be moving south from Canada to northern New England. The big difference in pressure between the high and the low, known as the pressure gradient, will generate the strong winds, Gaines said. 

    Len Melisurgo may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @LensReality or like him on Facebook. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     
    Police officer charged in 8-year-old daughter's gunshot death

    Police officer charged in 8-year-old daughter's gunshot death


    Investigators claim a loaded revolver was kept within reach of children. STRATFORD -- A borough police officer has been charged in connection with the New Year's Eve death of his 8-year-old daughter who succumbed to...

    Investigators claim a loaded revolver was kept within reach of children.

    STRATFORD -- A borough police officer has been charged in connection with the New Year's Eve death of his 8-year-old daughter who succumbed to a fatal gunshot wound, according to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.

    Sailor Lane Righter, 8, in this undated photo. The Stratford girl died on Dec. 31, 2016. (Photo courtesy of Zale Funeral Home)

    Kenneth Righter, 46, was charged Friday with three second-degree counts of endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly leaving a loaded firearm unsecured and accessible to his three minor children inside his home.

    Camden County Central Communications received a 911 call on the afternoon of Dec. 31, 2016 regarding an unresponsive 8-year-old child at Righter's home. Sailor Lane Righter's mother took her to Kennedy University Hospital, in Stratford, where the girl died as a result of a gunshot wound, authorities said Friday.

    Righter was also charged with storage of firearms if minors may have access, which is a disorderly persons offense. The children involved were ages 8, 14 and 17, per the prosecutor's office.

    An investigation conducted by the Camden County Prosecutor's Office allegedly found that Righter kept his personal .357-caliber revolver, "loaded and unsecured, on a shelf, which was within the reach of the minor children."

    Righter has been suspended without pay from the Startford Police Department, where he held the rank of patrolman. The incident remains an ongoing investigation.

    Greg Adomaitis may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @GregAdomaitis. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
    Caught in the act...again: Man busted during Bayonne robbery, cops say

    Caught in the act...again: Man busted during Bayonne robbery, cops say


    This is not the first time Rodriguez's robbery attempt has been foiled. BAYONNE - A Jersey City man with a history of getting caught red handed was arrested this week after stealing sunglasses from an...

    This is not the first time Rodriguez's robbery attempt has been foiled.

    BAYONNE - A Jersey City man with a history of getting caught red handed was arrested this week after stealing sunglasses from an eye doctor's office, police say.

    Wilbie Rosario-Rodriguez, 41, of Jersey City was charged with robbery Monday after he "used force" to steal four pairs of sunglasses valued at $925 from an ophthalmologist's office on Broadway, according to a police report.

    He struggled with an employee as he attempted to flee the store but was picked up by police shortly after, cops said.

    He apologized to police and said that he has a drug problem, cops say.  

    This is not the first time Rosario-Rodriguez's criminal exploits have been foiled. Rodriguez has been charged in three similar cases within the past five years.

    Last year, Rosario-Rodriguez appeared in court with a broken arm and a black eye after police said he tried to burglarize a home on Communipaw Avenue in Jersey City.

    Authorities said at the time that Rosario-Rodriguez entered the house through a hole he cut in the roof, but his plans went south when the roof caved in. He was charged with burglary and possession of burglary tools, according to the report.

    He also faced robbery and burglary charges in 2014 after he stole an iPad from a North Bergen's man car. However, the owner of the iPad caught up to Rosario-Rodriguez, "gained control" of him called the police while holding him down, according to previous reports.

    He was subsequently charged with robbery and burglary, and later pleaded guilty to third degree burglary, according to court records. 

    And in March 2012, Rosario-Rodriguez was charged with theft, burglary and obstruction of a government function after he broke into a car, stole a GPS, and then ran.

    Naturally, his getaway was thwarted after officers caught up with him and placed him under arrest, according to previous reports. He later pleaded guilty to third degree burglary, according to court records. 

    Rosario-Rodriguez also has convictions for theft by unlawful taking and narcotics offenses, according to court records. 

    Heroin dealer gets 10 years for armed robbery of hospital parking attendant

    Heroin dealer gets 10 years for armed robbery of hospital parking attendant


    The hold-up occurred in the parking garage of Morristown Medical Center in May 2014 MORRISTOWN -- An admitted heroin dealer was sentenced on Friday to 10 years in state prison for using a handgun to rob a Morristown...

    The hold-up occurred in the parking garage of Morristown Medical Center in May 2014

    MORRISTOWN -- An admitted heroin dealer was sentenced on Friday to 10 years in state prison for using a handgun to rob a Morristown Medical Center parking garage attendant in May 2014, authorities said.

    Tyhan Lighty, 45, with a last known address of Orange, pleaded guilty on Dec. 6 to armed robbery and stealing from a woman working at the parking garage, Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp said in a news release. 

    Lighty used plastic zip ties to bind the victim's wrists during the robbery, Knapp said. Investigators found Lighty's DNA on the ties.

    Lighty, who previously admitted to using and selling heroin, was indicted in October 2015 on robbery and weapons charges in the May 18, 2014 incident.

    Authorities have said Lighty fled the scene after the robbery, prompting an extensive, multi-agency investigation.

    Lighty was charged with the robbery about a year later and was arrested in June 2015 by officers with the East Orange Police Department. 

    Lighty, who has been in the county jail since June 2015, must serve 85-percent of his sentence before he's eligible for parole. 

    Knapp said the work of investigators with Morristown police, the Morris County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Section, the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences, the Morris County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Unit, and the Morris County Prosecutor's Office Victim/Witness Unit resulted in Lighty's conviction.

    Justin Zaremba may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @JustinZarembaNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    7 tips for a last-minute trip to the Women's March on Washington

    7 tips for a last-minute trip to the Women's March on Washington


    You may still be able to get last-minute seats for charter buses headed to the Women's March on Washington from New Jersey. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to descend on the nation's capital Saturday to...

    You may still be able to get last-minute seats for charter buses headed to the Women's March on Washington from New Jersey.

    Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to descend on the nation's capital Saturday to "send a bold message" to President Donald Trump on his first full day in the White House, organizers said.

    The Women's March on Washington began as a grassroots effort to support women's rights and other causes. Some marchers have been planning to attend since the day after the election.

    The approximately 300 charter buses scheduled to leave from New Jersey are nearly all sold out. But organizers said it is still possible for last-minute marchers to get to Washington for the event.

    Are any last-minute bus tickets available?

    The organizers of the New Jersey chapter of the Women's March on Washington said people who purchased charter bus tickets to the march, but can no longer use them, have been using the group's Facebook page to either sell the tickets or give them away.

    "We are trying to have those people post what they have available on Facebook," said Felicity Crew, co-coordinator of the New Jersey chapter of the march.

    On Friday, Facebook users were trying to get rid of tickets from Flemington, Princeton, Montclair and other charter bus departure sites.

    N.J. bus ticket prices soar for Women's March

    Can you drive?

    Organizers are encouraging marchers to carpool to Washington, D.C. But don't attempt to drive to the start of the march at the U.S. Capitol because there will be road closures, heavy security and limited parking.

    Instead, organizers are asking drivers to park near Metro stations in Maryland or the outskirts of Washington and take public transportation to the march. The Metro has announced it will begin running at 5 a.m., two hours earlier than normal for a Saturday.

    What is the march route and who is speaking?

    The event will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday with a rally at the intersection of Independence Avenue and SW Third Street near the U.S. Capitol. There will be a program of 44 speakers and performers, including feminist icon Gloria Steinem, filmmaker Michael Moore and actresses America Ferrera, Scarlett Johannson and Ashley Judd.

    At the conclusion of the program around 1:15 p.m., demonstrators will walk west on Independence Avenue and turn right on 14th Street SW. Then marchers will turn left on Constitution Avenue NW and continue to the area near the Washington Monument and the Ellipse behind the White House, where the demonstrators are expected to disperse by 5 p.m.

    The entire march route is less than two miles.

    Where are New Jersey marchers meeting?

    Demonstrators from New Jersey plan to meet at the New Jersey Avenue entrance to the Spirit of Justice Park at the intersection of New Jersey Avenue and Avenue D SE, according to local organizers. The contingent will make the 10-minute walk to the rally together.

    Some New Jersey marchers say they will be wearing a ring of flowers in their hair to indicate they are from the Garden State.

    What can you bring?

    Backpacks are not allowed unless they are clear and no larger than 17"x12"x6". Regular bags and purses can't be any larger than 8"x6"x4".

    Signs are permitted, but they can't have wood or other handles that might be used as a weapon. A full list of what is permitted and banned is on the march website.

    Where are the bathrooms?

    Organizers are providing gender neutral bathrooms along the march route. Many businesses, restaurants and museums in the area are opening their doors during the march to offer free food, free wifi, the use of bathrooms and a place to warm up.

    What if you can't make the trip to Washington?

    There will be at least six "sister marches" in New Jersey. They will include the Women's March on New Jersey in Trenton and similar events in Asbury Park, Sicklerville, Pompton Plains, Westfield and Wyckoff, according to the Women's March on Washington organizers.

    The march originally planned for Mount Laurel was moved to GT Community Park in Sicklerville.

    There are also marches planned for Philadelphia and New York City on Saturday. In Philadelphia, marchers are gathering at 10 a.m. at the Ben Franklin Parkway, In New York, the march begins at 11 a.m. at the Dag hammarskjold plaza.

      Kelly Heyboer may be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @KellyHeyboer. Find her at KellyHeyboerReporter on Facebook.
    2 Union County men indicted in child porn sweep

    2 Union County men indicted in child porn sweep


    Burt G. Harvey-Martinez, 35, of Elizabeth, and Dimas Zuniga, 45, of Roselle, were indicted on charges of sharing 25 or more items of child pornography for distribution. TRENTON - Two Union County men were indicted...

    Burt G. Harvey-Martinez, 35, of Elizabeth, and Dimas Zuniga, 45, of Roselle, were indicted on charges of sharing 25 or more items of child pornography for distribution.

    TRENTON - Two Union County men were indicted Thursday after they were found to have shared hundreds of videos and images of child pornography, Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino said.

    Burt G. Harvey-Martinez, 35, of Elizabeth (left) and Dimas Zuniga, 45, of Roselle (right), were indicted on charges of sharing 25 or more items of child pornography for distribution. (Courtesy NJAG)

    Both men were arrested after investigations targeting users on an online peer-to-peer network known to be popular with child pornography offenders, Porrino said.

    Burt G. Harvey-Martinez, 35, of Elizabeth, was indicted on charges of second-degree offering 25 or more items of child pornography for distribution using a file-sharing program, second-degree distribution of child pornography and third-degree possession of 100 or more items of child pornography.

    Dimas Zuniga, 45, of Roselle, was indicted on charges of second-degree offering child pornography for distribution using a file-sharing program and third-degree possession of 100 or more items of child pornography.

    Zuniga was arrested in "Operation Safeguard," a child pornography sweep conducted last year by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, ICE Homeland Security Investigations and the New Jersey State Police, according to Porrino. The operation used advanced technology to search for telltale digital "fingerprints" of known child pornography, as well as search terms used by those who download and share it, Porrino said. He said Harvey-Martinez was caught in a separate but similar investigation.

    Both men were arrested after search warrants were executed at their homes last year, Porrino said. At Zuniga's home on March 22, 2016, detectives seized computer equipment, including a hard drive that contained approximately 350 files of child pornography, Porrino said.

    When authorities executed a search warrant at Harvey-Martinez's home on July 19, 2016, they seized his laptop computer, which had 1,459 files of suspected child pornography in a shared folder, Porrino said.

    "Both of these men allegedly joined the depraved network of criminals who share child pornography online and thereby create a market for the cruel victimization of children," said Porrino. "We're making it a top priority to lock up these offenders who exploit and harm children."

    Both defendants remain in the Union County Jail, with bail set at $75,000 for Harvey-Martinez and $50,000 for Zuniga.

    Jessica Remo may be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @JessicaRemoNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Amid looming repeal of Obamacare, group pushes for face-to-face with Frelinghuysen

    Amid looming repeal of Obamacare, group pushes for face-to-face with Frelinghuysen


    Protesters want the Affordable Care Act "improved and embraced not repealed and replaced." MORRISTOWN -- More than 40 people gathered at the Morristown office of U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11) on Friday to...

    Protesters want the Affordable Care Act "improved and embraced not repealed and replaced."

    MORRISTOWN -- More than 40 people gathered at the Morristown office of U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11) on Friday to express their concerns with the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act and to urge the congressman to hold a town hall meeting on the matter. 

    Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, who is partially blind and partially deaf, told a spokesperson from Frelinghuysen's office she's worried the repeal of ACA would stop her from being able to lead a regular life.

    "I have been disabled since birth," Sjunneson-Henry said. "I have literally had a pre-existing condition since before I was born...If the ACA is repealed, I'm very afraid that with the pre-existing conditions I have I could lose my insurance."

    Sjunneseon-Henry went to Frelinghuysen's office on Friday along with other members of NJ 11th For Change -- a group comprised largely of women from the 11th district who want the congressman to oppose the repeal of ACA and to support Planned Parenthood. 

    The group, a mix of Democrats and Republicans, primarily sought details from Frelinghuysen's staff about what the plans were for ACA and about what legislation would replace it. 

    Frelinghuysen has repeatedly advocated for the repeal of ACA. A statement on his congressional website outlines the steps taken by Republicans to "partially repeal, defund and dismantle the law."

    "Republicans have voted over 60 times to fully and partially repeal, defund, or dismantle the law," according to the statement. "Of those votes, seven different bills have been signed into law that directly repeal or rescind funding from at least eight different Obamacare provisions.

    "While this is not the end of the story, it is one more bite of the apple, making it that much harder to implement the bill, thus getting us closer to the ultimate goal of full repeal."

    NJ 11th For Change members have said they plan to keep coming to Frelinghuysen's office on Fridays until he agrees to meet with them or to hold a town hall meeting on the issue. The group is also using the Twitter hashtag #FridayswithFrelinghuysen to spread their message. 

    Sjunneson-Henry told NJ Advance Media after the protest she's concerned the incoming Trump administration wouldn't be concerned with assisting citizens with disabilities. 

    "I have friends who will probably die if (ACA) is repealed," Sjunneson-Henry said. "This is actually life or death for us." 

    NJ Advance Media hasn't yet received a comment from Frelinghuysen's staff on this issue.  

    Justin Zaremba may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @JustinZarembaNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    These 2 preyed on Home Depots to fuel heroin habit, police say

    These 2 preyed on Home Depots to fuel heroin habit, police say


    Over a two-month shoplifting spree, the pair netted about $7,000 worth of power tools, officials said. WAYNE -- Two men were arrested Thursday for running a shoplifting ring that netted thousands worth of power...

    Over a two-month shoplifting spree, the pair netted about $7,000 worth of power tools, officials said.

    WAYNE -- Two men were arrested Thursday for running a shoplifting ring that netted thousands worth of power tools over the last two months, officials said.

    Douglas Sabolewski (Left) and David Buczek (Right)Passaic County Sheriff's Office 

    Douglas Sabolewski, 31, of Garfield, and David Buczek were charged with numerous counts of shoplifting in the third degree, Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik said in a news release.

    The thefts began on Dec. 13 at the Home Depot in Paterson where the duo took drill sets, fled through a fire door and entered into an awaiting vehicle, Berdnik said.

    The thefts continued at various Home Depots throughout the county including, Passaic, Totowa and Clifton, Berdnik said. 

    The duo was recorded on surveillance video shoplifting about $7,000 worth of power tools, Berdnik said. The Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division began a two week investigation into the crimes. Detectives were alerted to the pair entering a Home Depot in Passaic on Thursday morning, where they were arrested. 

    Sabolewski was also found with several glassine envelopes of herion. Berdnik said the pair was using proceeds from the thefts to buy drugs.

    "I want to commend the PCSO Detectives and Home Depot employees involved in this investigation," said Berdnik. "The suspects appeared to be committing these crimes to help support the purchasing of narcotics. Shoplifting elevates the price of products, which affects all consumers."

    Both men were released pending a future court date.

    Fausto Giovanny Pinto may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @FGPreporting. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

    Megan's Law offender offered 12 year old gaming system for sex, cops say

    Megan's Law offender offered 12 year old gaming system for sex, cops say


    Christopher Wilson of Little Egg Harbor had been ordered to register as a sex offender in 2009, authorities said Christopher Wilson(Ocean County Jail)  TOMS RIVER -- A sex offender from Ocean County has been charged...

    Christopher Wilson of Little Egg Harbor had been ordered to register as a sex offender in 2009, authorities said

    Christopher Wilson(Ocean County Jail) 

    TOMS RIVER -- A sex offender from Ocean County has been charged with trying to lure a girl into having sex with him,  authorities said Friday.

    Christopher Wilson, 20, of Little Egg Harbor Township, was charged Friday with attempted sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with an investigation that started last month, said Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato.

    Coronato said Wilson is accused of offering the victim, a 12-year-old girl, a gaming system in return for sexual favors.

    The prosecutor did not say how the allegations came to authorities but said there was no sexual assault.

    Wilson, who was arrested Thursday, was being held in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River where he is awaiting a bail hearing. He was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim, the prosecutor said.

    Because of a prior sex-related case when he was a juvenile, Wilson had been ordered in 2009 to register under Megan's Law as a sex offender, the prosecutor said.

    MaryAnn Spoto may be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @MaryAnnSpoto. Find NJ.com on Facebook.